The Stenhouse Blog

3 MORE Hidden Gems Between the Covers of Understanding the Math We Teach and How to Teach It (Math Monday)

Posted by admin on Jan 3, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Highlighting Ideas from Understanding the Math We Teach and How to Teach It (K-8) by Marian Small.


Today, in the second post of a two-part series, we’re highlighting three more “hidden” gems found within the covers of Understanding the Math We Teach and How to Teach It. You can read more about the first three gems in our previous Math Monday post.

Hidden Gem #4: Chapter Problems

Many teachers and coaches begin planning a math unit by doing some math themselves and considering big ideas and student strategies. But where can we find juicy problems that bring out important math ideas and spark conversations? One place to find them is on the first page of each chapter of Understanding the Math We Teach and How to Teach It.

Let’s take a look at the problem that begins Chapter 11: Decimals.

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This problem is both open enough to allow for a variety of creative responses and strongly focused on some of the big ideas underlying decimals.

Whether you’re focused on decimals, fractions, whole numbers, measurement, or data, each chapter of this book launches with a problem worth digging into!

Hidden Gem #5: Common Errors and Misconceptions Charts AND Appropriate Manipulatives Charts

Who doesn’t love a chart that organizes important teaching information into a helpful and easy-to-read reference?! Marian Small has done just that in two kinds of charts that appear in each of her chapters.

The Common Errors and Misconceptions charts outline partial understandings and errors you may see in students’ thinking and work, coupled with strategies for addressing them. Let’s look at just one piece of the Common Errors and Misconceptions chart for fractions.

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In the Appropriate Manipulatives charts, Marian provides an equally practical guide to the best manipulatives for each math topic, and how you might use them. For example, in the fraction chapter, the Appropriate Manipulatives chart details how we might use fraction pieces, pattern blocks, geoboards, egg cartons, and more to explore fraction ideas.

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Interested in seeing more of these charts? You can download the Common Errors and Misconceptions and Appropriate Manipulatives charts from the fractions chapter right here. You’ll want to slip them into your planner and reference them frequently.

Hidden Gem #6: The Orange Teaching Tip Boxes

In our last post we zoomed in on the red Number Talk boxes and blue Activity boxes that are sprinkled throughout the pages of Understanding the Math We Teach and How to Teach It. Alongside those boxes, you’ll also find orange Teaching Tip boxes, which are filled with short, practical tips for common issues that arise when teaching different math topics.

For example, in Chapter 10: Fractions, you’ll find this tip about the language we use to name and describe fractions.

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And in Chapter 14: Patterns and Algebra we find this important reminder about presenting students with different kinds of patterns.

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Looking For More?

On our website you’ll find a free preview of two chapters from the book, as well as the brand-new study guide that is perfect for teacher book clubs, professional development, and university courses.

Until next time, may your Monday be mathematically marvelous!


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Topics: Math, #StenhouseMath